Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
Chaney Family Papers

Finding aid created by
Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: Chaney Family Papers,
Creator: Chaney, Henry, 1808-
Inclusive dates: 1826-1950, and undated
Extent: .5 cubic foot (in 1 box)
Papers include correspondence, notebooks, legal documents, essays, and photographs.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

No Acc#

Access Restrictions:

Chaney Family Papers are open for research.


Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Chaney Family Papers, Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


Arrangement is alphabetical and chronological.



Henry Chaney, born in 1808, moved to Detroit, Michigan, in 1858, after living and teaching in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York. Instrumental in founding the first high school in Detroit, Henry served as its first principal until 1871 and as superintendent of the related library until 1878. Henry was married twice, first to Elizabeth A. Caryl; then to Isabella J. Caryl. He had two children, a daughter, Elizabeth Mason, and a son, Willard. (This information is from the collection.)

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Chaney Family Papers include correspondence, notebooks, legal documents, essays, and photos, which are arranged alphabetically by topic. The correspondence spans almost 120 years and consists of correspondence between family and friends. A letter from L. W. Caryl to Henry Chaney, dated 29 July 1832, describes a method for early diagnosis and cure of cholera. Between May 1837 and January 1838, Isabella Caryl (then living in New York) received letters from several of her former school mates (who called themselves “The Hill Girls”) who had moved to Detroit. Among the notebooks is one of Willard Chaney’s medical notebooks. Of the seventeen photos in the collection, only one, Marjorie Chaney Bow (Henry’s granddaughter), is identified.

Subject Terms

    • Chaney, Henry, 1808-
    • Chaney family.
    • Detroit (Mich.)--Genealogy.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Chaney Family Papers are open for research.. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Correspondence, 1826-1845
    Box   1 F   2
    Correspondence, 1846-1868
    Box   1 F   3
    Correspondence, 1869-1899
    Box   1 F   4
    Correspondence, 1901-1943, undated
    Box   1 F   5
    House, Plans, Specifications, Receipts, 1861, undated
    Box   1 F   6
    Ledgers, 1862-1863, 1883, 1950
    Box   1 F   7
    Legal Documents, 1868-1917
    Box   1 F   8
    Notebooks, Medical and Genealogical, undated
    Box   1 F   9
    Photographs, 1907, undated
    Box   1 F   10
    Poems, Essays, Clippings, Cards, 1860-1941, undated